Three Sutton care home workers have been jailed for the “horrendous abuse” of disabled residents which included squeezing a victim’s genitals, pouring water over their heads, sleep deprivation and other various assaults.

Alex Nazareth, 30, Georgios Skordoulis, 28, and Ahmed Hassanen, 54, were found guilty of ill-treatment at Grove House care home after a four-week trial at Croydon Crown Court in October last year.

Grove House provides residential care for individuals with learning disabilities, mental illness, and complex needs.

An internal investigation launched by the care home in 2019 led to a wider criminal investigation by police which revealed the horrific extent of abuse endured by two service users under the “care” of Nazareth, Skordoulis, and Hassanen.

The abuse inflicted upon one victim by all three men included elements such as: “spraying water at him, locking him in a room by propping a chair against his door, deliberately hitting him in the head, picking him up roughly and dragging him by his arms and legs, twisting his arms, pinching him, throwing possessions away for no reason, squeezing his genitals and pouring water over his head”.

In addition to being found guilty of these offences, Skordoulis and Hassanen were also convicted of abusing a second victim.

This abuse included: “insulting him, throwing water over him, not allowing him food or to spend his own money, attacking him, ripping or damaging his clothes and possessions, and pushing and irritating him so that he could not sleep”.

They were jailed on January 4, with Nazareth receiving 18 months and Skordoulis and Hassanen each getting two years.

The three men worked there as support workers and were also Sutton residents.

Thea Viney, CPS London District Crown Prosecutor, said: “This is a really shocking example of a disability hate crime, involving the abuse of very vulnerable people with complex needs.

“The victims should have been able to trust and rely on Alex Nazareth, Georgios Skordoulis and Ahmed Hassanen to look after them and keep them safe from harm, but instead they were subjected to horrendous abuse, with evidence of emotional and psychological mistreatment.

“We worked in partnership with the police from an early stage to build a case that centred on the offenders’ behaviour and conduct, with key witness evidence proving that they were clearly acting contrary to training, protocols and the individual needs of each victim.

“There is no doubt that the victims in this case will have been caused significant distress, but I hope there will be a sense of justice for them, their families and the wider community following today’s sentence.”

Lionel Idan, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South and CPS Hate Crime Lead said: “Hate crime directed at people with disabilities is abhorrent and we recognise the wider corrosive impact they have on our communities.

“Our commitment to tackling disability hate crime remains unwavering and there is more that needs to be done to bring such offenders to justice.

“In cases where our legal test is met, we have issued a charge in more than 80 per cent of these and have secured a conviction in 78.8 per cent of all cases.

“We will continue to work closely with police, third sector organisations and communities to build confidence, increase the number of such cases going to court and deliver justice for victims of such appalling crimes.”